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It's the Art, Stupid!

On Gorilla Tactics

I spent today writing the description section of my upcoming Kickstarter campaign, and creating a TON of images for it as well. While doing this, it struck me as amazing how much time I spent working with images as an indie developer. Sure I contract out the in-game artwork and some specific images, like the background to the King Randall's Party website, but I end up doing pretty much everything else myself.

So while this is my own opinion, I'd throw this out there to any aspiring indie developer: you gotta be familiar with a graphics editing program. Grab Photoshop (or pay for the really well priced monthly subscription to it) or even just GIMP, which is what I use. You'll be able to whip up a ton of images using your in-game assets on the cheap that will be SUPER helpful in pretty much anything you do. Launching a Kickstarter campaign? BAM, image. Sending out a press-kit to gaming website? BAM, image. Editing your fellow indie developers faces onto Paris Hilton pics? BAM, image.

So I guess what I'm saying is - not everyone is as rich as the King. For the rest of us, it's a huge money saver to be familiar with and willing to use a graphics editing program - even if you're not an artist.


On On the Side of the Good

I make no excuses for being a Lover of Words. I am enthralled by their sounds, their syllables, their double entendres. I am a word nerd who loves SAT vocabulary lists. I love recognizing the Greek and Latin Roots. I’m fascinated by phrases requiring context. My New Orleanian friends know exactly what I mean when I say we “Make the Groceries.” They know who “Parrain”(pronounced puh-ran) is, and exactly where we can find the “Flying Horses.” And at the end of a long, tiring day we have to “make deaux deaux” (pronounced doe-doe).

Different spaces evoke different linguistic oddities. I have mentioned before that my “Little Boy” plays competitive Baseball. As you know, the Baseball Field comes with its own marvelous vocabulary. At a certain point in the weekend, when our group of spectators have reached our limit, and we all seem a little “punch-drunk,” someone will invariably lead the group in starting a game where everyone yells out nonsense baseball phrases and we see how long we can go without stopping… “ Ducks on the pond!”, “ Can o’ Corn”, “Do your Job”, “Nose on it!”, “Get Dirty!”, “Way to lay one out!” “NOBODY WALKS BUT THE MAILMAN!!” It’s funny how long that game goes on and how silly it gets when you’ve had enough baseball. But the etymology, the nuance, and the local color add flavor to the day.

Of course, there are words I find highly annoying. I have to stay three steps ahead of my kids in learning their lingo. They bring home words and phrases that find that last nerve and jump on it like a trampoline. Through the years I’ve developed a cool trick for dealing with this problem. (Although my kids would tell you it’s a FRESH trick.) I teach their annoying words to their Granddaddy, whom they call “Sweetpea.” He then commences to say the annoying phrase at hand at least 9,482 times, at which point the word suddenly disappears from my children’s vocabulary. The down side is it takes about nine months for me to un-teach the word to Sweetpea.

He has his own hysterical phrases that he unleashes on us. Most recently we were having a discussion and out of nowhere he shouted, “NOT MY CIRCUS, NOT MY MONKEYS.” Knowing how much my dad can’t tolerate “nonsense” (I will let you insert a more vivid, adult word for “nonsense”) we knew he wanted no part of the situation at hand. “Stay out of it” was his message, but it was one we’d never heard and we were able to have a good laugh. Of course, I looked it up. It’s a Polish phrase meaning “not my concern, not my problem.”

Sometimes the Greatest GOOD we can do involves keeping our words in our back pocket—recognizing it’s not our circus, nor our monkeys. Saying too much at the wrong time can manifest that proverbial “mountain out of a molehill.” Inserting ourselves, our opinions, our critiques can add that “fuel to the fire” that our little corner of the world does not need. Wherever we shine light, we draw ourselves closer into that situation. The GOOD that we have the potential of creating sometimes requires that we walk away and flip the light switch off.

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